A traditional Christmas event – Nutcracker Generation Tournament – will be held on December 18-24 at the Central Chess Club in Moscow. Like a year ago, there will be two Scheveningen matches: Kings vs. Princes and Queens vs. Princesses.
The line-up of the Kings: Challenger for the World Chess Championship 2012 Boris Gelfand (Israel), World №4 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), winner of the final Candidates Match 1999 Alexei Shirov (Latvia), and Russian Champion 2005, head coach of the Russia women’s national chess team Sergei Rublevsky (Russia).
The team of Princes will be represented by the leading young Russian players: winner of the Russian Championship Higher League 2016 Grigoriy Oparin, Russian blitz champion Vladislav Artemiev, the youngest grandmaster of Russia Andrey Esipenko, and winner and prize-winner of many international tournaments Daniil Yuffa.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov will go into 2018 with a new lifetime best official rating of 2804 after starring as the Kings beat the Princes in the classical section of the Nutcracker Battle of the Generations. The world no. 3 scored three wins and was close to four, but the Kings were prevented from sealing the match by Sergei Rublevsky losing to Andrey Esipenko, Grigoriy Oparin and Vladislav Artemiev. Eight rounds of rapid chess will now decide the match.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov has looked out of place so far – a chess destroyer at the top of his game rather than a veteran ready to give the youngsters a subtle lesson or two in positional chess. We already saw how he beat Grigoriy Oparin in Round 1 of the Nutcracker tournament in Moscow, and he continued in the same vein.
15-year-old Andrey Esipenko showed the fearlessness of youth when he sacrificed a pawn to try and attack Mamedyarov, but he was swiftly punished until it was just a question of how the Azeri no. 1 would conduct the execution.
- Official website
- All the games with computer analysis on chess24
- Mamedyarov back over 2800 as Nutcracker begins